Do you ever wish your dog could talk?
Your dog becomes such an ingrained part of every aspect of your life, it can be easy to forget they’re not really people sometimes. Most pet parents talk to their dogs as if they understand everything we say, after all, that’s how we learn, so it must be how dogs learn, right? Plus, your dog just gives you that loving, understanding look that makes you swear he really does comprehend most of what you say.
But when it comes to understanding what your dog is trying to say, things can get a little difficult for us humans.
We project our own feelings onto our dogs. We don’t always understand doggie body language, and we tend to treat our fur babies like human babies. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for misunderstanding for any pet parent.
If your dog could talk, here’s what he’d want you to know:
10 Things Your Dog Wants You to Know
- “What you reward me for, I will do again.” Rewarding your dog comes in two basic forms: food and attention. But what we consider yelling at our dogs (to stop a behavior), really just sounds like barking to them. Good attention, bad attention- any attention is better than nothing. Yelling often teaches your dog to repeat a behavior.
- “I don’t misbehave out of revenge.” Many pet parents think Fido chews up the furniture to “get even” for punishing them or for not paying attention to them. Dogs really don’t do revenge. They will break house rules out of fear, anxiety, frustration, or some other unmet need- not revenge. Truth: He didn’t eat your shoes to get even with you for not taking him to the pet store. He just missed you while you were gone and didn’t know what to do with his frustration and anxiety. Plus, your shoes smell like you and that makes him happy.
- “I really do love you.” Dogs crave human connection. Your dog really does just want to be with you. When he gives you “that look”, he really is telling you how much he loves you.
- “Actions speak louder than words.” A dog’s primary language is body language. What you say to him doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do. Be very aware of the nonverbal signals you’re sending your dog to avoid miscommunication.
- “Consoling me isn’t a always good idea.” When your dog appears frightened or unsure of a new situation, it’s easy to go into mothering mode and console and encourage your dog with praise and attention. But the message this is really sending to your dog is that it’s okay, and even a good thing, to be afraid and upset over new things.
- “Cuddling with you means I matter.” When you cuddle with your pup, you’re telling him you’ve accepted him into your pack and he now has the care, protection, and affection of the other “human dogs” in the house.
- “Good dog food is my world.” Most dogs are very food motivated. They think about it. They dream about it. They get excited over it. But dog logic is a little funny. Your dog would much rather have 20 morsel sized bites over the span of a day than an entire steak all at once. It’s ok to break yummy, healthy dog treats in half and reward him more often rather than with a larger portion of food.
- “I really do know how you feel.” Dogs are amazingly skilled at perceiving our emotions. When you come home from work in a bad mood, your dog knows. But he’s not very skilled at figuring out what triggered that bad emotion. He doesn’t know if it was something he did, something the cat did, or something altogether different. This makes your emotions contagious to your dog. Go ahead and let him comfort you when you’re sad- it will make him feel better, too.
- “I want you to be happy.” One of the things dogs do best is celebrate the moment. Zoomies through the house, an extra game of fetch, or even an extra five minutes cuddle time in the mornings shared with your dog mean the world to him. He wants you to be happy every day.
- “You’re the best!” Your dog really does appreciate what you do for him and you are the most important thing in his life. In his eyes, you’re the very best pet parent he could ask for- thanks for sharing your heart and home with a dog.
Dogs deserve the very best we have to offer- they give so much to us, unconditionally. They really are man’s (and woman’s) best friends. Share this post if you’re a dog lover!
What would your dog say if he could talk? Would he or she tell you the same things?
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